SriLankan Airlines recorded a 36 per cent increase in visitor traffic from Abu Dhabi in the last 12 months, according to figures released by the airline.
Abu Dhabi & Al Ain manager Sudath Kuruppu said: “In the months of April to November 2004, we saw an increase of 36.04 per cent in total passenger uplift from Abu Dhabi on our routes, which is significantly higher than the overall airline growth of 14.3 per cent.
“This is in response to our increased flights from Abu Dhabi – we now fly to Colombo three times a week, and have seen a marked increase in our holiday packages to the Far East as well as our circle trip fares combining Sri Lanka, India and the Far East which are popular holiday options for families in the summer.
“Meanwhile, we continue to see growth on our South Indian routes, as SriLankan is the only international carrier to offer so many destinations in India.”
Following a near doubling of profits for the year 2003/2004, SriLankan Airlines is continuing its staged growth in all areas. Airline management has revealed plans to expand IT capabilities, airport facilities and catering and cargo divisions, as well as bringing in additional capacity in its fleet and adding new destinations.
A net profit after tax of Rs. 4,555.14 million (US$44 million) was reported by the airline and its SriLankan Catering Services subsidiary, an increase of 94.97 per cent over the previous financial year. This increase was attributed in part to SriLankan’s dynamic expansion on Indian routes.
Total operating revenue rose 24.6 per cent, while passenger numbers increased by 14.3 per cent to 2.06 million. Meanwhile, the airline fleet expanded to 17 with the acquisition of two A340s, two A320s, another Antonov AN12F freighter and a Cessna Caravan floatplane.